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DS Design = Nintendo Profits 91

Posted by Zonk
from the like-printing-money dept.
There's nothing but good news in Nintendo's world right now, as the success of the DS leads to a more profitable financial year than they'd initially expected. From the article: "The company has re-estimated a net profit of 95 billion yen ($807 million) for the year ended March 31, compared with its previous forecast of $637 million. Last year the firm took £739 million." To get an idea of why the DS is so successful, Gamespot has a breakdown of an interview with the DS Engineers.
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DS Design = Nintendo Profits

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  • YEN, USD, & GBP (Score:5, Insightful)

    by recursiv (324497) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:13AM (#15066682) Homepage Journal
    These are hard for me to compare.
  • by DesireCampbell (923687) <desire.c@gmail.com> on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:15AM (#15066692) Homepage
    If Nintendo's making that much on the new DS, think about the Japanese vendors - DS-lites are so rare in Japan they're selling DS-lites at three to four times MSRP. They're even importing DS's from Europe and America to sell in Japan (at even higher costs).
  • Does anyone else think that there are too many different currency units in the summary? While you were at it, why didn't you throw in Euros for good measure?

  • Details (Score:5, Informative)

    by gormanly (134067) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:16AM (#15066710)
    Nintendo's 3rd quarter [nintendo.com] earnings report has more details.
  • Not bad at all (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Traiklin (901982) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:19AM (#15066746) Homepage
    Not bad for a company many people figured would be out of the games buisness after the gamecube & GBA.

    Once Sony announced the PSP all I ever say was "Nintendo is doomed!" "Sony's going to pwn their asses!" and so on and so forth, yet every article about the PSP & DS the DS is ALWAYS beating the PSP, simple reason to Nintendo has always made the system for cheap but not TO cheap.

    no console has sold for more then $199.99 (I might be mistaken on the ones that came with a game, but back in the 80's with the NES my parents got my sister and me the NES with Mario, Duck Hunt & Track & Field (or whatever it was called) with the light gun and power pad for $199.99, same with the SNES when it was released with 2 controllers & Super Mario World) even their handheld systems sell for cheap (The DS is the only one to start off at $149.99 and is basically their most expensive system).

    in the end Nintendo is usually posting profits for the year (their quarter profits are hit and miss though) while Microsoft and Sony (who are big on overloading a system with a lot of extra features that usually don't need to be there in the end) post losses almost every single time (though their end of year profits are usually up).

    not bad for a company a good chuck of people thought would be gone after the gamecube.
    • (The DS is the only one to start off at $149.99 and is basically their most expensive system).

      The DS is down to 129.99 now, I think. Our local Gamestop has a coupon for something like 20$ off (109.99). However, you can buy a shiny new gamecube for 99.99$ from most places these days.
      • Or a refurbished ( ie, 95% brand new ) gamecube for about $60 from EBGames.

        Unless memory fails me. Which it probably does. To lazy to google the actual price ( and note: the price above is CAD, not USD ).
    • Well, the real issue is Sony and Microsoft are trying to make COMPUTERS while Nintendo is trying to make VIDEO GAME CONSOLES.
      • Not really. Microsoft Games is trying to disentangle itself from the idea that the Xbox is just a PC that you can hook up to your TV (which is 100% true with the original, as we all know, but not quite so much with the 360). Ironically enough, though, Sony is striving for exact image MS Games has divorced itself from, and has failed just as thoroughly in that aim- perhaps even moreso. The Xbox has some cachet as a gaming system now, but Sony's PC-like addons for the PS2 have largely flopped (the Linux kit e
        • "Microsoft Games is trying to disentangle itself from the idea that the Xbox is just a PC that you can hook up to your TV (which is 100% true with the original, as we all know, but not quite so much with the 360)."

          Which, of course, is why MS made the 360 look exactly like a Packard Bell.
    • Re:Not bad at all (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The GBA sold over 70 million consoles. Anyone who thought Nintendo was going out of business was frankly a complete, total and utter retard.
    • by freeweed (309734)
      no console has sold for more then $199.99 (I might be mistaken on the ones that came with a game, but back in the 80's with the NES my parents got my sister and me the NES with Mario, Duck Hunt & Track & Field (or whatever it was called) with the light gun and power pad for $199.99, same with the SNES when it was released with 2 controllers & Super Mario World)

      MANY consoles have sold for more than $199.99. The Atari VCS was $249.99 in the early days, for one. Your NES/SNES purchases happened wel
      • The GP is talking about Nintendo consoles.
      • The GP is Nintendo specific. And all Nintendo home consoles have made thier debute at $199.99. (May be wrong about the NES with the robot, but I think the normal system was still 200 bucks). If you want to talk expensive systems, look at the Neo Geo Gold. 700 bucks and the games were up to 200 each.

        But GP poster is making a point about Nintendo doing well in relation to their being affordable.

    • I don't know, while you probably have something about the price I think it's more about the software.

      Nintendo has long made games that are actually fun rather than technology showcases. Most of the rest of the game industry has been making fairly poor software for way too long. They focus too much on using the latest and greatest technology (eg. graphics, sound) and skimp on the actual game design. I mean it sucks up a ton of effort to try and use the latest technology. To me it's wasted effort if the
      • Yeah. Every time I read some lame comment about how the Revolution won't be able to stack up to the awesome HD-supporting power of the 360 and PS3, I find myself thinking, "The 90s are over already."

        The push for photorealism was fun when we were making advances in rendering every ten days, when 3D modeling was an arcane technical profession, when you could flip through a nerd mag and see illustrations that had never been possible before. Now, it's getting old. We know you can render swirling snow and
    • "no console has sold for more then $199.99 (I might be mistaken on the ones that came with a game, but back in the 80's with the NES my parents got my sister and me the NES with Mario, Duck Hunt & Track & Field (or whatever it was called) with the light gun and power pad for $199.99, same with the SNES when it was released with 2 controllers & Super Mario World)"

      The Nintendo 64 was $249 sans game. :)
      • The Nintendo 64 was $249 sans game. :)

        No it wasn't. When they first announced the launch price, they said $249. A few weeks before launch they decided to drop it to $199.

        Rumor has it that the price drop was apparently a large part of Nintendo's falling out with SGI, as SGI's cut was a percentage rather than a fixed amount. I have no idea how accurate that claim is though.
        • I thought SGI was going down the tubes at that point anyways...
          • Nah, the N64 was launched right around SGI's peak. If it was past their peak, it was soon enough afterwards that people didn't think there was anything wrong. It was probably about 2 years, give or take, after the N64 launch that SGI's troubles became obvious.
    • Re:Not bad at all (Score:5, Informative)

      by edwdig (47888) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @03:12PM (#15069495)
      in the end Nintendo is usually posting profits for the year (their quarter profits are hit and miss though)

      That's putting it a little lightly. Nintendo has only had one unprofitable quarter ever since going public, and has always been profitable for the year. That one quarter Nintendo was unprofitable was due to the US dollar dropping in value substantially compared to the Yen. Nintendo always invests profits in the currency it was earned in, which in the overall scheme limits their risk from currency fluctuations, even if it did hurt them that quarter.
    • Accounting for inflation, your $199 NES (from 1985) would cost $354.93 today.
      The $200 SNES (from 1991) would cost $282.23

      See The Inflation Calculator. [westegg.com]
      • Heh, a Nintendo DS would cost roughly $65 back in 1985, $100 in 1991. Sorry, I wasn't trying to make a point, I was just thinking out loud. :-P
      • I really don't think you can calculate inflation directly for luxury items. Nobody needs them, so to some extent it doesn't matter what they cost. The value of the dollar in a given year is predicated on the price of essential goods, as it should be.
  • by Cornflake917 (515940) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:21AM (#15066762) Homepage
    I just bought Metroid Prime Hunters last week, the gameplay is amazing. It feels so much like a PC fps. My main problem is after about 20 minutes of playing, my left hand gets tired from supporting the DS on it's own, and my right hand cramps up from holding the little stylus. It's exciting to hear that Nintendo is adjusting the weight and size of the DS. I can't wait to try one out. I might sell my DS and buy a DS lite if it addresses the issues I'm having.
    • I can't imagine playing the Metroid game with a stylus, it could be nothing but painful. Have you tried using the little plastic thumb slider thing that is on the wrist strap? I only have the Kirby game and Mario Kart so I haven't really had an oppurtunity to try the thing. It does seem like it would work well for that game though.
      • I bought my DS used and it didn't come with the wrist strap. However, I actually ordered one from nintendo a few days ago (which is the only place I could find one btw). I think it will help but it might take a while learning how to use it.
      • I can't imagine playing the Metroid game with a stylus, it could be nothing but painful.

        I tried playing with the thumb peice and gave up, but then realized if I used the stylus like a mouse (I'm left handed, but I use my right hand for mouse movement like most people) and then my left hand thumb as the WASD movement control and left index figer for the fire button it worked seemed to play like a mouse and keyboard fps.
    • I'm actually impressed at how well the stylus works for this game.

      I have found that by holding the bottom corners of the DS in the palms of my hands, I can hold the DS in place pretty well. I use my right pinky to hook somewhere near the right shoulder button, and this leaves enough of my right hand to control the stylus.

      Ofcourse I haven't played any multiplayer games yet, where I will undoubtedly get slaughtered by people who have found a better configuration.
    • I've found it more comfortable to play putting the DS thumb-strap on my right index finger, and using that to look around with the touch pad. The problem is that the thumb-strap keeps slipping off my index finger, and I have to keep readjusting it. I wish someone would produce a "thimble"-like device that would fix snugly to my index finger that I could use to interact with the touch screen. It would be good if it had a surface near my fingerprint for sliding over the touchscreen for Metroid Prime, but a
  • Nintendo Deserves It (Score:5, Informative)

    by dancingmad (128588) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @12:14PM (#15067452)
    I live outside of Osaka and I got my DS Lite a few weeks after launch (by stumbiling across a late shipment at Tsutaya). I got mine on a Friday night at 10 p.m. or so and there was a shelf full of Lites and old DSes. By the next afternoon there was 1 old-model, silver left.

    The machine is a marvel. It's sexy like an Apple machine (it matches my iBook and iPod) but far more durable. It's like Apple aesthetics combined with Nintendo's "make-sure-it-takes-a-beating" engineering (indeed, their machines have been amazingly resilient and the DS Lite is no exception.

    The prices of Lites are coming down (you can get a used one for the same price as a new one these days) but they are still somewhat hard to find, especially in places like Akihabara (I was there on vacation a few weeks ago and every store said they were sold out) and Den-Den Town in Osaka. I live out in the boonies (compared to Osaka proper, anyway), so I was able to snag one.

    The games are great - some great Japan only titles like Dragon Quest Slime 2 and Jump and stuff like Animal Crossing. People here love this machine. I am hoping the Revolution will have the same kind of success.
  • I just got a DS as a requested birthday present.

    It's not bad, but I still like the form factor of the GBA SP better (even relative to the lite version)

    I think the dual screens aren't utilized very well. Assuming DS isn't the way of the future, more of a sidestory, then I'd love to see a device with the touch screen included, 4 buttons, and an analog nub instead of a crosspad, but the dual screen dropped...
    • What games do you have for your DS? I've found that the dual screen is utilized well in some games and poorly in others. I currently have Animal Crossing, Kirby, Nintendogs and Super Mario 64 for my DS, and I've found that being able to see the map on Kirby and Mario can be quite handy (it's something that I like to glance at from time to time without interrupting my gameplay)... whereas in Animal Crossing and Nintendogs, the second screen is just a nice but mostly unnecessary feature.

      I would like to see
      • Well, I just got it but with a bunch of games...
        Warioware Touched, Feel the Magic XX/XY, Mario Kart, Nintendogs, PacPix, Advanced Wars 2, Electroplankton...

        Warioware probably has the most fun with it, but even it switches pretending the two screens are "supposed" to be touching, vs the two screens have space between 'em. I think only one screen being sensitive is kind of odd as well.

        So, for my money, 2 screens = gimmick, touchscreen = brilliant, analog control = sadly lacking.
  • Obviously (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Phantasmo (586700) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @12:51PM (#15067893)
    Obviously, uh... Nintendo is... dying?

    Analysts predicted the death of Nintendo at the release of the Genesis, PSone, Dreamcast, PS2, Xbox, PSP and Xbox 360. It seems like I read about Nintendo making record profits every other day. I wonder if this news will effect the predictions in any way?

    Guess we have to wait on the PS3's eventual release to find out.
  • For info on the number of DSes sold in Japan, check this out [gamesarefun.com].
    • My favorite part of that little chart of sales numbers is the fact that the Gamecube is beating the Xbox 360 in sales.

      That just makes me so happy.
  • by whoop (194) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @01:40PM (#15068489) Homepage
    Having just bought a DS a month ago, I can see just why Nintendo is making profits like this. The games are quite fun, and cheap. An advantage of coming into it 18 months after release, I have been able to buy a bunch of last year's games cheaply (about $10). If you haven't played it before, it's still new to you.

    Nintendo provides reasonably priced fun over megaflipipolygons per nanosecond statistical jerk-offs. That's worth my money.
  • Old and new (Score:2, Interesting)

    by vega80 (852274)
    Some of Nintendo's success must be because they have a corp of veteran game designers. Plus, pairing the veterans up with bright new designers sounds like a winning formula.
  • IMHO, I don't think these analysts are gamers. They may have degrees/certificates in Economics, Journalism, and other similar ones but that's not enough to "predict" the spending habits of the average impulse buyer (note the keyword impulse). These professionals are probably basing their facts on numbers which are relevant to the stockholders and other higher ups. As for game journalists, we all know they are the most biased people on Earth. On a side note, the DS vs PSP was based mainly on numbers. W
  • One thing i can say for sure about Nintendo...they just "get it" when it comes to games. They may not be the most advanced, the fastest, hell even the best looking but when it comes down to it they understand what it takes to succeed with people.

    Yes they do make purple consoles and their controllers have been known to come with a big green "A" button but that's what works for Nintendo.

    I love the design of the DS. I thing it's great that they target girls and non-gamers. That's a market that sony has reall

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